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PathWays PA E-Newsletter: May 31, 2010

We at PathWays PA hope that everyone is having a nice Memorial Day! Please remember to thank those who have and who are serving our country.

This Wednesday! The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011 Philadelphia Release

PathWays PA is proud to announce the Philadelphia release of the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania 2010-2011!

WHEN: Wednesday, June 2nd 2:00-4:00
WHERE: United Way Building of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia PA

The Standard measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place must earn to meet their basic needs without public or private assistance. The Standard is based on the cost of each basic need in each county—food, housing, health care, child care, transportation and taxes— determined independently using official and publicly available data.

Join us to learn more about the Self-Sufficiency Standard from the President and CEO of PathWays PA, Carol Goertzel, and the author of the Standard, Dr. Diana Pearce.

Please register for this event today!

Federal

Please Support Child Nutrition Programs

Nearly one-quarter of children live in households that do not always have enough food and those families that do have food struggle to access healthful food. Today, nearly one-third on all children are overweight or obese.

Child nutrition programs are critical tools for addressing these challenges. These programs provide children access to nutritious food and meals through the National School Lunch Programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program.

To strengthen the fight against obesity and hunger, the President included a $1 billion increase in funding for Child Nutrition Programs in his budget.

Please contact your member of Congress today and urge him or her to support funding for programs that ensure we have healthy and not hungry or obese children.


Support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Currently, people can be fired in 29 states for being lesbian, gay or bisexual. In 38 states, people can be fired for being transgender. The Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) would end that by providing workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

While ENDA has been delayed before, advocates expect it to be up for a vote very soon. Please contact your member of Congress and urge them to support equality in the workplace for all.

Information/Events

Help Make Postsecondary Education a Reality for Low Income Women

Women’s poverty in the United States is rising. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of women living in poverty in 2008 was at its highest level in 10 years.

Congress is set to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program this year. TANF, the 1996 “welfare reform” law, made low income “work first” its priority and severely restricted women’s access to a postsecondary education, making it virtually impossible for a TANF recipient to earn a four year college degree.

Higher educational attainment has been shown dramatically reduces a woman’s chance of living in poverty and significantly increases her earning potential. Women with a bachelor’s degree or higher were only 7 percent of all women living in poverty in 2008 – earning an average of $955 per week; but women with only a high school diploma were 24 percent of those living in poverty – earning slightly more than half as much ($520) per week as their college educated sisters. Moreover, the benefits for their children are far reaching – as they fare better in school and have the example of their mothers for their own aspirations for postsecondary education.

If you believe postsecondary education is important for women please join the Center for Women Policy Studies as they ask you to join in renewing their call to “end the burden of poverty” for women and their children in the USA (click here to read the Contract). For more than two decades, the Center has promoted access to postsecondary education as essential to federal/state policy efforts to reduce women’s poverty and ensure their children’s futures.

Below is a sample message for Congress:
Ensure that TANF recipients and other low income women are able to partake of the American Dream and move from poverty to self-sufficiency. Make postsecondary education a genuine option for TANF recipients and remove the restrictions that prevent them from earning a college degree.

Please join the Center’s Global Honor Roll of Leaders for Women’s Human Rights and work with us to make postsecondary education a reality for low income women in communities nationwide (click here to join the Global Honor Roll). And please share your experiences, your expertise, and your research with cwps@centerwomenpolicy.org.

Please join the Housing Alliance for a Regional Forum: Reshaping Pennsylvania's Housing Market

  • Get new data about what's really going on
  • Hear the latest from DC and Harrisburg on housing
  • Share your thoughts about what's working locally - and what still needs to be done
  • Help shape our agenda for changing the housing market
Join the Housing Alliance for breakfast and networking and bring your literature to share!
Choose one of five locations this spring:

South Central PA
Tuesday, June 8
8:30 a.m. - Noon
Penn State Middletown
Education Activities Building
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Harrisburg, PA 17057
Click to register

Northwest PA
Tuesday, June 8
8:30 a.m. - Noon
St. Marys Country Club
535 S. Michael Road
St. Marys, PA 15857
Click to register

Suburban Southeastern PA
Wednesday, June 23
8:30 a.m. - Noon
Elwyn Campus
Administrative Building - Barr Hall
111 Elwyn Road
Elwyn, PA 19063
Click to register

Central PA
Wednesday, June 30
8:30 a.m. - Noon
Penn State Visitors Center
State College, PA
Click to register

Southwestern PA
Thursday, July 29
8:30 a.m. - Noon
Pittsburgh Location TBD
Click to register 

The forums are FREE, but registration is required.


PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

Take Action on Earned Sick Time

48 percent of workers in the United States have no access to earned sick time, which means that if they are sick (or if their family members are sick) they must choose between working sick or losing their pay (or their jobs). If you are one of the 48 percent who have no earned sick time - or one of the 52 percent who do - please take our survey and tell us more!

There are bills at the federal, state, and local level to support earned sick time for everyone - here is what you can do:
  • Support the Federal Healthy Families Act! Under The Healthy Families Act, workers would have the opportunity to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 7 days of sick time per year. This time could be used to care for workers or their families, or could be used as "safe days" in cases of domestic violence. Tell your legislators that we need paid sick days now!
  • Support the paid sick days campaign in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia! Become our friend! Show your support for earned sick time by visiting Facebook. You can support earned sick time in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia. Support both!
  • If you don't live in Pennsylvania, you can still support earned sick time. Visit The National Partnership for Women and Families website to learn more about campaigns in your area.
  • Tell us your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Email your story to us at policy@pathwayspa.org.
  • Call your Representatives! If you live in Philadelphia, call your City Councilperson and urge them to support "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," which guarantees earned sick time for all working Philadelphians. Not sure who your City Councilperson is? Click on this link and type in your home address to find out which district you live in: http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/districtform/districtform.html.
  • If you live in Pennsylvania (but outside of Philadelphia), call your state Representative. Tell him/her you support earned sick time for workers. Not sure who your Representative is? Simply type your address here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm.

Do You Need Help Paying for Post-Secondary Education?

PathWays PA offers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a matched savings program that offers financial education while helping you save for school. Through the program, your savings can be matched at a rate of three-to-one. If you save $500, we will give you an additional $1500 to go towards your school expenses.

Applicants must meet program income guidelines, be working (full or part time), and be enrolled or accepted into an accredited institution.

If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail Kelly Binder at kbinder@pathwayspa.org.


Need Assistance With Public Benefits Applications?

PathWays PA provides assistance to those who need help applying for food stamps or other benefits. For further information, you can contact our office in Philadelphia 215-387-1470 or Delaware County 610-543-5022.

For more information about the services provided by PathWays PA please visit our website.

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